Ibm Buys A Data Base That Conjures Up Objects

Big Blue is staking more of its future on object-oriented software. A way of assembling programs from pretested chunks of code, this technology is the basis of a forthcoming operating system being designed by Taligent, a joint venture between IBM and Apple Computer Inc. IBM's latest foray is with Object Design Inc., a Burlington (Mass.) maker of object-oriented data-base software. In a deal valued at $27 million, IBM will buy a minority stake in the five-year-old company as well as sell the outfit's technology. Programmers at IBM's Santa Teresa Laboratory in San Jose, Calif., will also make sure the start-up's ObjectStore data base can swap information with IBM's own data bases running on mainframes, RS/6000 workstations, and PCs running IBM's OS/2 software.

IBM itself has already been using ObjectStore. In developing chips for mainframes, IBM finds it simpler to keep the technical data about each of a chip's components in a separate object. This way, when a specific transistor needs to be linked to a memory module, the engineers know exactly where to find the information about it since the assembly of the software objects mimics the assembly of the chip itself.

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